We recently covered rumors of Apple planning to lean on AR for the company’s future and there were some personnel movements to corroborate the rumors as well. Now we’ve got some movement in the VR and AR industries again, this time with a senior ex-Apple employee becoming head of Oculus VR hardware. Michael Hillman, who spent 15 years at Apple and held design and engineering roles there, will now be instrumental in Oculus’ desire to make VR hardware mainstream, as reported by Bloomberg.
Via Bloomberg’s report, the now-removed listing for the position Hillman now fills said the potential employee in the role will “set the strategy and execute on our consumer product roadmap”. Apple has certainly solidified its position in the mobile and home computing markets so Hillman’s expertise could spur Oculus into another world when it comes to the company’s VR technology. A hire such as this shows that they are still standing behind the hardware and want the division to evolve.
Oculus has a strong position on two fronts within the VR industry. The Rift gives them presence in the higher tier VR market while the Samsung Gear VR charges forward in the more accessible mobile market. At some point those sides will merge, as we’ve seen with the Santa Cruz prototype, and it’ll take a lot of hardware engineering to make sure this new device works great.